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Benton County

Benton County is named for Thomas Hart Benton, a United States Senator from Missouri from 1821 to 1851.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Morrison County

E – Mille Lacs County

S – Sherburne County

W – Stearns County and Morrison County


Created:  October 27, 1849                    Map of Minnesota highlighting Benton County

County Seat:

Watab             1849 – 1850

Sauk Rapids   1850 – 1856

Watab             1856 – 1859

Sauk Rapids   1859 – 1901

Foley               1901 – present


County Courthouse – Foley


Location:  615 Highway 23 / 6th Avenue North

Built:  1997 – 1998

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Buetow and Associates, Inc. of St. Paul

Contractor:  Construction Analysis and Management, Inc. of Minneapolis


Description:  The building faces south and is a one story brick, stone, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on spacious grounds north of the center of Foley and is the Benton County Courts Facility covering 33,000 square feet. The building resembles the nearby jail which was built in 1994. The buildings are connected by an underground tunnel. The south front has a central entrance with semi-circular portico. The roof line is flat. In the interior is a large entrance lobby. There is a County District Court courtroom. The building houses two judges chambers, staff, court administration offices, corrections, county attorney and the law library. The building houses the County District Court of the 7th Judicial District.


County Administration Building – Foley



Location:  531 Dewey Street / 6th Avenue North

Built:  1901 – 1902

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  S H Haas

Contractor:  A G Wahl.


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story yellow colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Foley. A renovation in 1979, turned the building into a smooth rectangular block with plain mansard roof and glass-brick windows. The entrance from the annex consists of carpeted steps rising to the original entrance flanked by polished granite pillars. The building now houses the Benton County Administration. The architect in 1979 was Pauly and Olson of St. Cloud. The annex on the west side was built in 1974. The architect was Traynor, Hermanson and Hahn of St. Clous and the contractor was Conlon Construction. The building served as the courthouse until 1998.


See:  The 7th Judicial District includes Becker County, Clay CountyDouglas CountyMille Lacs County, Morrison County, Otter Tail County, Stearns County, Todd County and Wadena County.


History:  The county was incorporated in 1849 and Watab was selected as the county seat. The county seat was moved to Sauk Rapids in 1850 where the home of Jeremiah Russel served as the first courthouse. The county seat moved to Watab in 1856 where a church in Watab served as the second courthouse. The county seat moved back to Sauk Rapids in 1859 where office space was rented and in 1864, rooms over a store served as the third courthouse. In 1866, the fourth courthouse was built at a cost of $600. In 1901, the county seat was moved to Foley and the fifth courthouse was constructed in 1901 to 1902 at a cost of $12,900. The sixth and present courthouse was constructed in 1997 to 1998 at a cost of $3,500,000.


County Sheriff’s Office and Jail – Foley


Location:  615 Highway 23 / 6th Avenue North

Built:  1994 – 1996

Style:  Modern

Architect:  KKE Architects, Inc. of Minneapolis

Contractor:  W Gohman Construction of St. Joseph


Description:  The building faces south and is a one story yellow colored brick and concrete structure. The roof line is flat. The building forms the western section of the Benton County Courts Facility and is connected by tunnel to the courthouse.



County Courthouse – Foley















County District Court courthouse













County Administration Building – Foley













County Administration Building ( Old Annex ) – Foley





Photos taken 2007, 2010, 2019 and 2023